Reaching up to get something from a top cupboard has become more difficult thanks to pain in your shoulder. Or, climbing up flights of stairs is something you’re now dreading thanks to arthritis in your knees. These are just two of the many ways in which arthritis can interfere with your ability to live life.
More than 92 million Americans report doctor-diagnosed arthritis or arthritis symptoms — namely joint pain and inflammation — so you’re certainly not alone in wanting to find solutions that can help you move more freely.
As pain management specialists, Dr. Maziar Massrour and Dr. Naveen Reddy share this same goal. Here at Apex Pain Specialists, we offer different solutions for arthritis, including a regenerative approach called platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy.
Here’s a look at what you can expect with this innovative treatment for arthritis.
The human body is amazing in its ability to heal itself — every time you cut yourself, break a bone, or even get a sunburn, your body gets to work to repair the damage using its considerable regenerative resources.
One of the first responders are your platelets, which are flat cell fragments found in your blood. Your platelets are key in starting the wound healing cascade, which includes four phases:
With PRP therapy, our goal is to harness this incredible healing power and redirect it into areas that can use a regenerative boost — such as joints that are damaged by arthritis.
There are many benefits of using PRP to address arthritis, which we’ll get to in a minute, but the first is that we’re using your own resources.
To create your PRP therapy, we draw a sample of your own blood and isolate the platelets in a centrifuge. We then take this concentrate, mix it back in with your plasma, and inject the PRP into your joints.
Since we use materials from your own body for the injection, the PRP is readily accepted and quite safe.
We typically use PRP therapy to address the most common form of arthritis — osteoarthritis (OA). Your joints contain a slippery tissue called cartilage that covers the ends of the bones so that they glide together easily. With OA, this tissue breaks down, which leads to friction in your joint.
This friction then leads to three main arthritis symptoms — pain, stiffness, and inflammation. Unfortunately, OA is progressive because your cartilage doesn't enjoy a good blood source and can’t heal well. With PRP, our goal is to provide additional resources that help combat inflammation and aid in healing.
To give you an idea about its efficacy of PRP in treating arthritis, one meta-analysis found that, “PRP injection therapy can safely and effectively improve functional activity in patients with OA and produce positive analgesic effects …” These findings applied to knee OA and ankle OA, but hip OA didn't respond as well to PRP.
If you’d like to explore whether PRP therapy might help reduce your arthritis symptoms so that you can move without pain again, you should come see us for an evaluation. PRP works best for mild to moderate arthritis when there’s still cartilage available, so it’s a good idea to see us at the first signs of trouble in your joints.
To schedule an appointment, please call our office in Chandler, Arizona, at 480-820-7246 or book an appointment online with Apex Pain Specialists today.